Thanks to his great distance from the Earth, ringed Saturn is the dimmest and the slowest of the visible planets. He takes nearly 30 years to make one full circuit of the Zodiac, spending 2-½ years in each sign.
In an era where humans had much shorter lifespans, Saturn was associated with age, sobriety and limits. Even death. He’s named after a Roman agricultural god, who oversaw reaping the harvest.
The Meaning of Saturn in Astrology
Saturn’s the planet of “adulting” par excellence.
He’s who you call when you’re looking for self-discipline. Wherever he is, we feel more committed, mature and responsible. He calls himself a pragmatic realist, and a grown-up.
Saturn focuses on the here-and-now, but he also builds structures meant to endure lifetimes. He appreciates authority, conforming to the rules, and setting boundaries.
Cold and dry in the extreme, too much Saturnine energies result in some of the most negative human feelings: depression, betrayal, isolation, fear and rigidity.
Saturn in a Horoscope Chart
Saturn keeps our feet firmly rooted. In an astrological chart, his concerns include things like:
- Focusing on the present moment.
- Pragmatism, doing what has to be done
- Discipline, concentration
- Maturity, authority
- Setting limits and boundaries
- Delaying gratification
- Facing fears
- Taking responsibility
- Inhibition, constriction, contraction, caution
- Rejection, deprivation, loss, delay
But these are just the start. Anything that helps you feel stable and grounded take’s up Saturn’s mantle. Meditate on what it feels like to be pulled down toward the Earth, and you may add a few of your own words to the list.
The Astrology Glyph for Saturn
Saturn’s glyph represents a scythe, the blade used for reaping a grain harvest.
Today’s glyph for Saturn is a cross, joined to a crescent on the lower right. Theosophists considered this “matter weighing on the mind.”
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